Gena Estep (History) and I have been working on a prototype for a classroom activity that has students organizing and matching some important historical events and their outcomes.  She showed me a paper prototype, and I cooked up a quick design in SketchUp for some interlocking game pieces:

History Making, in the Making

A quick print and some post-processing with a Sharpie later…

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The third tile didn’t quite work out, but for a first run it got the concept across. Next up: figuring out a reasonably quick production process for generating STLs for all the pieces needed.  I’m looking into using OpenSCAD to create customizable objects for the Thingiverse customizer.

Old cabinets removed from the Innovation Center, which means that hopefully the flooring will be installed soon.

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Ian Wallace (Theater Arts) and his crew are making progress on the aquaponics system. Another day or so of work, and we’ll be able to start piecing together the electronics and other systems.

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Wendy and Mike Appleby teach at Georgetown School in Georgetown, CA, where they’ve been developing the Georgetown Makerspace and associated programs.  They’re starting a new gear-up phase, so I invited them to visit the Innovation Center the other day.  They brought their son Sam, and we did some 3D printing, cut some stickers on the vinyl cutter, and set up a plotter job on the X-Carve.  We talked about different ways we might work together, and decided on a “sister lab” concept.  We kicked around some ideas for a partnership plan, to include sharing information and resources,  maybe collaborating on some training, and hopefully hosting Georgetown School students for field trips and work days once our space is built out.

Measuring with Sam

I work chiefly with adults, and it never ceases to amaze me how very competent some children are at using digital tools.  After a brief introduction, Sam quickly figured out Tinkercad, and designed some sweet accessories for his action figure, though it took a few rounds of prototypes to get the scale right.  Applied mathematics!

After a rather lengthy pause in the project, owing mostly to institutional rhythms, Cameron Hoyt (formerly a student, now an employee of the college in the Theater Arts Department) and his crew began work on the structural skeleton of the aquaponics display.

Aquaponics Project

Below is Alex Hartigan, a Folsom Lake College Engineering student preparing some Calculus III models he’s been developing in collaboration with Kevin Pipkin (Math) and that he printed on the new Form 2, which has gotten a lot of use lately, most recently with the Enabling the Future project.

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Alex and I connected last semester, and finally got the chance to work together on this Math project. Alex has a lot of skills in 3D design and printing, as well as experience on the Form 1, and through the process of preparing the Calc models, he taught me a whole lot about the finer points of printing on the Form 2, including various layout tips, and the manual editing of supports.

The Form 2 models came out great:

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The Ultimaker 2 ones, not so much, though the failure at least resulted in some interesting artifacts:

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Best of all, Max Mahoney (Chemistry) dropped by, and we recruited Alex to work on the chemistry project we prototyped the other day. One of my favorite parts of working with students is learning from them, and I hope to learn a lot from Alex before he heads off to Sac State next fall.

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Working on a new prototype, combining the models from 3D Printed Potential and Free Energy Surfaces for Teaching Fundamental Concepts in Physical Chemistry (Kaliakin, Zaari, and Varganov) and something like this:

Max Mahoney (Chemistry) printed one of the models from the aforementioned paper, and we got to discussing how we might fill it with sand and inject some energy in the system to motivate the sand to shift around to demonstrate concepts of chemical reaction kinetics and dynamics.

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I found a Sonic Ghost VX-GH72 Electro-Mechanical Audio Transducer in the workshop. I purchased it some years ago hoping to replicate a sweet project I once saw at Maker Faire, developed by Sasha Leitman and involving 50 gallon metal drums with contact mics attached, with the drums acting as…well…drums, but also acting as speakers.  Anyhow, we hooked the transducer up to a piece of metal and threw some sand from the aquaponics project on there, and played around with different frequencies.

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We ended up breaking the transducer, and substituting a speaker, upon which we place the metal sign, with the model taped to the top.

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We were able to get the sand to bounce out of the lowest spot and into one of the higher ones, so the rough prototype is showing promise…